Yes! Goldfish can eat bloodworms, with the bonus of them being a healthy snack. Goldfish by nature of omnivores and consume both vegetative and meat-based protein in the wild. Incorporating bloodworms into your goldfish’s diet provides them with a great protein source alongside their staple diet.

Countless observations have been done documenting the wild carp (origin of the goldfish species we come across today) preying on worms, smaller fish species, and even their fry! This is a good indication to understand goldfish need a pure protein source, not in the form of a pellet or flake.

Purchasing live bloodworms will encourage your goldfish to use its natural hunting instincts to catch the worms. This will be entertaining to witness, our stocky domesticated goldfish trying to wiggle their way to catch their prey, it is as cute as it sounds!

Diving into detail on how to safely feed your goldfish bloodworms well-discussing advantages of them added to your goldfish’s diet. This article will tell you everything you need to know when it comes to feeding your goldfish bloodworms.divider1- goldfish

What Are Bloodworms?

Bloodworms are a group of polychaetes and primarily live on the bottom of marine lakes or the larvae of a midge fly. As indicated by their name, these worms are a rich red coloration. This coloration is shown through their thin translucent body casing. Bloodworms do not consume blood as many believe, instead, they eat a diet of decaying waste, detritus, and sludge.

Bloodworms were first introduced into the aquarium hobby by a fisherman who would use them as bait for marine fish. It led to hobbyists realizing how enticed fish were by these worms and they made their way into the aquarium trade.

There are three types of bloodworms safe to feed goldfish, mainly:
  • Frozen bloodworms
  • Freeze-dried bloodworms
  • Live bloodworms
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Credit: schankz, Shutterstock

Goldfish Dietary and Protein Requirements

Goldfish are commonly labeled as easy to feed. We are familiar with them being described as the ‘pigs of the aquarium’, consuming anything that can fit into their little mouths. What we do not always realize is the amount of consideration that needs to be implemented when working out a feeding schedule. Nutrition in domesticated goldfish, with a heavy emphasis on the fancy variety, is important. Goldfish are prone to a host of illnesses stemming from an inadequate diet. Below is a helpful summary of the necessary dietary requirements. And yes, it includes bloodworms!

We want to feed these worms, but is it something goldfish require in their diet?

Goldfish need to have protein in their diet, from a meat-based source. Without protein, goldfish cannot grow, develop, or build the necessary muscles to remain healthy. Young goldfish deprived of protein will typically show skeletal deformities, bending of the spine, bulging eyes, muscle atrophy, and a drastically shortened lifespan due to organ damage.

These are examples of necessary goldfish dietary options:

Protein

  • Bloodworms: these little worms fed life straight into your aquarium are high in protein, as well as fiber for smoother digestion. One of the few worms safe for goldfish consumption to have enough fiber to help your goldfish digest the protein without the worry of bloating or constipation (which is a worry with some other types of aquatic worms).

We recommend purchasing live bloodworms from your local fish store, or the option of buying pre packed bloodworms online. We recommend the Amzey freeze-dried bloodworms, but our top pick must be the Omega-One freeze-dried bloodworms. Freeze-dried bloodworms are a great option for those who are squeamish about feeding their goldfish live worms.

  • Daphnia
  • Tubifex worms
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Credit: Negnut, Shutterstock

Main Diet
  • Repashy gel food
  • Goldfish flake food
  • Goldfish sinking pellets or sticks
Fiber
  • Algae
  • Aquatic vegetation
  • Peas
  • Cucumber

Goldfish should receive a daily intake of at least 30% protein, 3% crude fiber, and 2% fat to remain in good health. Once the basis of a staple diet is implemented, bloodworms can be fed as a snack or part of the main diet if it lacks protein.goldfish divider

Can Live Bloodworms Infect or Harm Goldfish?

Bloodworms are not parasitic towards goldfish. When we think of worms, our thoughts go to parasites and harmful opportunistic feeders. Bloodworms have a pin-shaped head with a mouth containing four dark fangs. They use these fangs to latch on to their prey and produce a stinging venom. It may seem scary, but when the worms are dead, they make great treats for goldfish. Live bloodworms are only capable of harming your goldfish if the heads are attached when fed as they can bite. Certain preparation methods should be followed before feeding the worms alive.

Preparation Before Feeding Live Bloodworms to Goldfish (with Important Precautionary Measures)

Feeding live bloodworms are risky. It is because bloodworms can use their fangs to give your goldfish a painful stinging bite. To ensure this does not happen to your goldfish, here is a tutorial on making live bloodworms safe for goldfish.

  1. Always wear thick rubber gloves when handling live bloodworms. It will save you from a potential nasty bite!
  2. Ensure the worms have come from a reputable aquarium source.
  3. Place the worms in a shallow bowl of water.
  4. Use a pair of tweezers to pick up the bloodworm.
  5. Proceed to use a sharp pair of scissors to snip the tip of the head off. The head looks like a needlepoint.
  6. If the worm is moving too much for you to deliver a precise cut, use two gloved fingers to squish the top of the worm’s body.
  7. The worms should then be headless yet still moving.
  8. Use a tweezer to place the desired number of bloodworms into your goldfish’s tank.

How to Feed Frozen Bloodworms to Goldfish

  1. Frozen bloodworms should be defrosted/thawed before feeding.
  2. Chip off a section of the cube that you want to feed to your goldfish.
  3. Place the bloodworms in the packaging on a plate.
  4. Place the plate in a relatively warm area in your kitchen.
  5. Make sure the plate is not in the sun as this will cause the worms to thaw rapidly and foul.
  6. Once the worms have thawed out completely, you can then place them into the aquarium for feeding.

How to Feed Freeze-dried Bloodworms to Goldfish

  1. Chip off a piece of the bloodworms if it comes in a pellet form.
  2. Place the worms in water for 10 minutes to expand and soften.
  3. Place the bloodworms in the tank, lighter ones should float and thoroughly expanded worms will sink.
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How Many Bloodworms Can You Feed Your Goldfish?

Mature goldfish can eat up to 4 bloodworms a week. Due to the excellent nutritional value bloodworms offer, there is no harm in feeding a bloodworm alongside the goldfish’s staple diet.

  • Fry (Young Goldfish): A full tank requires a maximum of 20 bloodworms in the aquarium. If the amount of fry is small, 10 is ideal.
  • Juveniles: Should receive 10 bloodworms a week as a maximum dosage.
  • Adult: 4 bloodworms a week. One bloodworm can be added to the daily diet.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Feeding Goldfish Live Worms

Advantages
  • Excellent source of protein
  • High in fiber
  • Easily available
Disadvantages
  • Live bloodworms bite if not prepared appropriately beforehand.
  • Frozen bloodworms have the lowest nutritional value.

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Conclusion

Bloodworms are a tasty treat your goldfish will love! With the bonus of different ways to feed bloodworms. We hope this article has helped you find out all the information you need when it comes to feeding your beloved goldfish bloodworms.


Featured image credit: AJSTUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY, Shutterstock